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Materials

Chemistry in pictures

January 30, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 5

 

One fish, two fish, red fish …
[+]Enlarge
Author and science educator Adrian Dingle couldn’t get away from chemistry, even on his lunch break. By the time he’d brought his meal, which included red cabbage salad, back to his table, the cabbage juice had turned his fish greenish blue. The color in red cabbage juice is from anthocyanins, which change their structure when exposed to acids or bases and, as a result, change their color. Typically, cabbage juice is purplish and has a neutral pH. The fish must have been slightly basic (pH ~8), resulting in the bluish color, Dingle says. Cabbage juice can measure pH values from 2 to 14, changing color from red to blue to greenish yellow.—MANNY MORONE
Submitted by Adrian Dingle
Author and science educator Adrian Dingle couldn’t get away from chemistry, even on his lunch break. By the time he’d brought his meal, which included red cabbage salad, back to his table, the cabbage juice had turned his fish greenish blue. The color in red cabbage juice is from anthocyanins, which change their structure when exposed to acids or bases and, as a result, change their color. Typically, cabbage juice is purplish and has a neutral pH. The fish must have been slightly basic (pH ~8), resulting in the bluish color, Dingle says. Cabbage juice can measure pH values from 2 to 14, changing color from red to blue to greenish yellow.—MANNY MORONE
Submitted by Adrian Dingle
Liquid rainbow
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Credit: Ralph Lange
As a “nerdy wedding present” for his sister, ETH Zurich chemist Ralph Lange wanted to grow a high-purity bismuth crystal. The process involves melting a solid chunk of bismuth into a liquid (shown), removing some of the impurities, and then letting it slowly solidify into rectangular, stairlike structures. The colors are a result of a thin bismuth oxide layer that forms on the metal when it comes in contact with air. The thin film interferes with light and reflects only certain colors at certain angles.—MANNY MORONE
Submitted by Ralph Lange
Credit: Ralph Lange
As a “nerdy wedding present” for his sister, ETH Zurich chemist Ralph Lange wanted to grow a high-purity bismuth crystal. The process involves melting a solid chunk of bismuth into a liquid (shown), removing some of the impurities, and then letting it slowly solidify into rectangular, stairlike structures. The colors are a result of a thin bismuth oxide layer that forms on the metal when it comes in contact with air. The thin film interferes with light and reflects only certain colors at certain angles.—MANNY MORONE
Submitted by Ralph Lange

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Comments
Robert H. Woodman (January 31, 2017 5:44 AM)
It appears that you have reversed the captions for those two pictures.

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